TOKYO - Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Organizing Committee Vice President Toshiaki Endo on Saturday asserted his belief that coronavirus countermeasures will allow the games to be held and that organizers are not considering cancellation.
"In case (COVID-19) is widespread in the society, it's not impossible that we could decide they can't be held, but we're preparing thinking we can definitely hold them given Japan's situation and countermeasures," Endo said on a BS TV Tokyo program.
Shigeru Omi, an infectious disease expert who chairs a government subcommittee on the coronavirus response, on Wednesday said it is "about time to have a proper discussion" on whether to hold the games.
Endo characterized Omi's remarks as "reasonable from the standpoint of an expert's opinion," but said the organizing committee's panel of experts is exploring concrete plans to safely host the games.
Asked about the possibility and timing of a decision to cancel the Tokyo Games, Endo said, "We're not considering that."
The organizers, and central and Tokyo metropolitan governments as well as the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee on Thursday agreed to set spectator caps for venues in June.
"It's easier to prepare for no spectators but we'll decide based on (the number of spectators allowed at) professional baseball and (soccer's) J-League," said Endo. "(The decision) could be made in May should the situation permit."
Endo revealed that Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike had called him to say, "We absolutely have to make them successful."